Analysis of data published by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) shows that beef-bred cull cows sold through NI livestock marts averaged 240p/kg during January, up 47p/kg or £329 on a 700kg suckler-bred animal when compared to the same month last year.

Dairy culls are also up significantly in price, averaging 162p/kg during January, a 29p/kg increase on the 133p/kg recorded in January 2022.

A scarcity of prime cattle and strong sales of manufacturing beef have underpinned the cow trade across NI since the start of the year.

Prime cattle

For slaughter-fit and short-keep steers sold through marts, LMC data shows animals with U and R grade conformation averaged 282p/kg in January 2023.

This is an increase of 36p/kg on the same month last year, adding £252 to the value of a 700kg steer.

Plainer beef-bred steers have averaged 243p/kg, up 20p/kg on the 223p/kg recorded in January 2022. Friesian bullocks are up 26p/kg year on year, averaging 215p/kg, with beef heifers at 262p/kg, also up 26p/kg.

Beef trade

The overall beef trade remains extremely positive. Prime steers and heifers continue to trade around the 470p/kg mark for U-3 grades, with higher prices on offer for bigger numbers.

Cull cows are making anywhere from 390p to 420p/kg depending on quality and numbers available.

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